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Old 11-22-2010, 07:06 PM
Location: Littleton, CO
24 posts, read 105,961 times
Reputation: 19



I am trying to get some input on this disturbing conversation my friend and I had so I am going to give a little background about what we talked about.

Background: I am a mixed (African American and Irish) female who has never skied or snowboarded in my life but I would like to learn (one of the reasons I want to move to Denver) I grew up in Chicago (so I am used to the snow) but lived the last 7 years in Las Vegas. I chose to relocate to Denver because I needed a new change scenery and some sort of culture (which Vegas lacks) and I love visiting this city. On top of that I love the outdoors and would love to learn to snowboard.

My friend (Caucasian) of 10 years is trying to persuade me to move where there is more diversity and I might be uncomfortable living in Denver because of the lack of diversity. She also claims that "black people" don't like cold weather nor do they snowboard or ski and I will be discriminated against if I were to go to Breckinridge, Aspen, Vail or any other town. (all in her words)
Is this true?

Every time I am in Denver I have never felt discriminated in anyway people have either been friendly or have kept to themselves which goes for other cities I have visited. Her telling me this is not going to discourage me from moving to Denver but I don't want to feel discriminated against when I do visit the ski towns. Please help me put this debate to rest and to prove her wrong. Thanks
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:25 PM
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,564 posts, read 8,548,867 times
Reputation: 8112
Ski towns tend are very open minded. Most people choose to live in them because of their love of the outdoors and it's a unifying mindset. You are more likely to be judged on who you are and how you behave rather than what color your skin is. There are "black people" who ski and board and live in the area, once you put on ski gear, goggles, hat and a helmet the only thing you'll be be judged on is your ability or lack of. If you are a willing student, you'll find lots of good people to teach you to board.

To be completely transparent I white, so I may be missing something that you would pick up on. I've lived in Vail, Aspen and Telluride and have never heard a discriminating comment made towards a black person in those areas. I've also lived in Houston, Atlanta, Savannah and the Caribbean and have seen nothing short of rampant racism in those places.

Good luck on your move, just be sure to line up a job first.
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:27 PM
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,351 posts, read 115,061,523 times
Reputation: 35920
If you can tolerate the winter in Chicago, you will thrive here. I came here from Champaign, where, as you know, the winter is milder than Chicago's, and I am here to tell you Denver's is milder yet by many measures! It's sunnier, there are more warm, dry days, fewer zero degree days, etc.

Denver isn't hugely diverse, but you would not be the only AA in town, either.

I don't know about discrimination in the ski towns, but I kind of think not so much. They get tourists from all over the world, and tourists are their bread and butter.
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:27 PM
Location: Denver
9,963 posts, read 17,668,520 times
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Denver is statically very white but I see enough diversity everyday to not worry about these kind of things. I am Mexican-Irish and my wife is full-on Mexican descent, we both snowboard and have noticed no discrimination here in town or at the resort. Actually I think California's (where we moved from) racism/classism was much worse than Colorado's and California is far more diverse!

It's all about the attitude of a place, not so much diversity imo. Denver's attitude is very tolerant and balanced, if you are nice then expect people to be very nice to you.
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:27 AM
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 4,037,841 times
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Also white here, so I can't attest directly, but I just don't see any racist tendencies, particularly in the area of outdoors activities. Regarding diversity, was just hanging out at Cervantes in Five Points and there were plenty of white, black, mexican and others all jamming out to live music (on and off stage.) Maybe it's just the crowd I'm hanging with, but I just don't notice serious racism (or even acknowledgement of race) in Denver.
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:56 AM
Location: NOCO (for now)
8,573 posts, read 19,033,626 times
Reputation: 5337
Wife and I lived in Denver metro (Englewood & Parker areas) for a total of 5 1/2 yrs. What I can tell you is this......while visiting Breckenridge Ski Resort during Thanksgiving one time, I don't remember seeing any AA there, but that doesn't mean they don't go there and ski/snowboard. We were only there for an hour visit, no skiing (we don't snow ski). We love boating and have seen very few AA boaters in Colorado, North Carolina or here in Florida. Don't know the reason behind that, but
As far a predominately white in Denver metro, I'd have to say that is pretty much true, at least in the area we lived in and worked at the time. But, I did work with a guy who was AA and was a very nice guy.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:15 AM
Location: Arvada, CO
13,791 posts, read 28,235,164 times
Reputation: 14203
Your friend is being ridiculous.

I am a Mexican/White-American male who at one time had never skied in my life. I wanted to continue learning, but the combination of my sleep/work schedule, general out-of-shapeliness, and the fact that it's incredibly hard to find size-17 ski boots that don't make me want to cut my feet off, has forced me to shelve the idea for awhile.

I chose to relocate to Denver because I wanted a big city that had snow and Del Tacos.

Diversity is overrated. You come from Chicago, a very diverse place that doesn't exactly ring the bells of racial harmony. If one stays in Denver's central core and inner-ring, and outside of the farthest suburbs, nobody of any background should feel uncomfortable, ever.

"Black people don't like cold weather"? Aren't there black people in Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Detroit, etc? And every single one hates the cold?

On my "learning to ski exercise" last winter at Winter Park, one of the instructors was a former teacher (LA and Denver) who was originally from Queens but was now living in Tijuana. He was a black man. IMO tis best to not conform.

Winter Park had all backgrounds represented that day, and after spending two mini-vacays there, I've determined that it is the kind of place happy people live. And people that are happy generally aren't racist (this would apply to other ski towns as well IMO).
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:57 AM
17 posts, read 43,245 times
Reputation: 27
I can't imagine a place better than Denver. I loved it there, and there was diversity. Maybe not as much as very large cities, but you still get diversity. The people are great, very open minded.

The weather is phenomenal, and you get everything you want in a city without being overly crowded. The mountains are great. Regardless of whether you ski, the summer its nice to go hiking, sight see, camp, etc. Even if you don't go to the mountains, there is plenty of outdoor things to do, a great downtown bar scene, museums, art, etc
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:26 AM
115 posts, read 211,268 times
Reputation: 112
Check out the national brotherhood of skiers at nbs.org or the local Denver chapter at Slippers-N-Sliders Ski Club: News (http://www.slippers-n-sliders.org/news.php - broken link) . The Slippers is a *great* way for anyone to get into skiing, a very friendly group of people who regularly have outings with carpools and buses.

Everyone is welcome on the mountain. Half the time we are so bundled up you could be orange and no one would know anyway.

Practice up the NBS summit is in late February at steamboat this year. I have not been in quite a while since it was in Vail but it was a great time.
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:09 PM
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
50 posts, read 288,691 times
Reputation: 29
I agree with all the others. The demographics show that there aren't a high percentage of AAs that live here. I have helped a few of my friends move to the Five Points/Whittier/Curtis Park area and it's as diverse as it gets.

I can assure you the culture of Denver (and the Ski towns) is very open minded and you'll not be discriminated against. Now, the ski towns also attract a ton of tourists. So, if you did ever experience any discrimination I think there's a higher probability that it would be from someone that doesn't live here.
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